TBT 2019 Quarterfinals Preview

 

By: Josh Goldfine | @jgoldfine


TBT Quarterfinals action tips off on Thursday, August 1 

56 teams down. Eight remaining. TBT Championship Weeks kicks off on Thursday, August 1 and Friday, August 2nd with four epic Quarterfinal matchups. To help get you ready, our Josh Goldfine breaks down what to watch out for live on the ESPN family of networks

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(1) Carmen's Crew vs (1) Eberlein Drive - Thursday, August 1 at 7 pm EST (ESPN)

Two of TBT’s most successful teams kick off Championship Week in Chicago, with Eberlein Drive hoping to make a second straight Finals trip and Carmen’s Crew looking to avenge a loss in the Round of 8 last summer.

Eberlein Drive, the 2018 runner-up, took the Salt Lake Regional by winning its three games by a total of six points. Jerome Randle, the 2018 All-TBT member who had game-winners in both Rounds 1 & 2, leads the way at 21 ppg. Donald Sloan (16 ppg) provides offensive firepower, while Osiris Eldridge brings the defensive intensity. Both Randle, the former Pac-12 Player of the Year, and Eldridge hail from the Windy City, so Championship Week will mark a homecoming for both.

Carmen’s Crew returns to the Round of 8 for a third consecutive summer after winning the Columbus Regional. William Buford (21 ppg) led the offense in Columbus and is a threat from beyond the arc, where he converted on 12 of 17 attempts. David Lighty (16 ppg, 5 apg) attacks the basket and distributes as well. Aaron Craft, who was recently named as the top defender in Italy’s top professional league, will be tasked with slowing Randle.

 

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(1) Golden Eagles vs (8) Jackson TN UnderDawgs - Thursday, August 1 at 9 pm EST (ESPNU)

The Jackson TN Underdawgs shocked the top-seeded Bluegrass Boys three summers ago. TBT’s Cinderella once again this year, the Underdawgs look to make their first-ever semi-finals appearance but will have to go through a top seed which has advanced to the Round of 8 in each of the past four summers.

This year, the Underdawgs were once again unfazed by their bottom seed and dismantled all comers in the Memphis Regional, winning by an average of 18 points per game. Jaylen Barford does it all for the Underdawgs, averaging a team-high 26 points - second-highest in TBT - and six assists per game. Josh Sain and Tarius Johnson averaged 14 points apiece to complement Barford.

The Golden Eagles march into Chicago with a high-scoring offense, a hometown crowd and a desire to avenge last summer’s blowout semi-final loss to four-time champion Overseas Elite. Dwight Buycks, TBT’s leading scorer at 29 points per game, is a walking bucket. Jamil Wilson (22 ppg), Elgin Cook (16 ppg) and sharpshooting Andrew Rowsey (13 ppg) all average in double figures for Marquette University’s alumni squad. 

 

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(1) Overseas Elite vs (1) Loyalty Is Love - Friday, August 2 at 7 pm EST (ESPN)

Overseas Elite has not lost a game over five summers and looks to continue its unprecedented streak in the quarterfinals. Loyalty is Love, a first-time TBT squad put together by the Los Angeles Lakers’ DeMarcus Cousins, will try to become the first team to break the four-time champions. 

Overseas Elite has no shortage of ways to win games, and the only undefeated team in professional basketball history showed its mettle once again on Regional Weekend, winning three more games to run its streak to 28 straight. D.J. Kennedy, TBT’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, is a threat both inside and outside, averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jeremy Pargo also averages 16 ppg, and his 7.3 assists per game rank second among remaining players. Newcomer Bobby Brown (15 ppg), big man Justin Burrell (14 ppg, 10 rpg) and small forward DeAndre Kane (10 ppg) combine to make this team the toughest out in TBT.

Loyalty is Love can fill it up in a hurry. Darius Johnson-Odom leads the offense for Cousins’ group, averaging 21 ppg. Isaiah Austin (18 ppg), Pierre Jackson (16 ppg), Willie Reed (14 ppg), Quincy Miller (12 ppg) and Keifer Sykes (11 ppg) all average in double figures. Jackson’s 7.5 assists per game rank tops among all remaining players.

 

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(1) Team Hines vs (3) Team Brotherly Love - Friday, August 2 at 9:30 pm EST (ESPN2)

Team Hines, which defeated Chris Paul’s Team CP3 to advance to Chicago, was the consensus top seed in the Greensboro Region. Team Brotherly Love, on the other hand, had to battle its way to a Regional title and an appearance in Chicago.

Team Brotherly Love won the Syracuse Regional by shooting its way to upset wins over Armored Athlete and host Boeheim’s Army. The mostly Philadelphia-based squad, which leads all remaining teams with a 53% shooting percentage, prides itself on strong team defense and a willingness to share the scoring load. Four players average at least 15 points per game, led by Novar Gadson at 20 ppg. Frant Massenat is a threat from beyond the arc and distributes to open teammates. Veteran NBA power forward Jason Thompson, who was unable to play on Regional Weekend, has been added for this quarterfinal matchup. 

Mike James leads the offense for Team Hines at 22 points per game. Matt Lojeski (15 ppg) and Ricky Ledo (11 ppg) also average in double figures for this first-time TBT participant. The challenge for Team Hines will be replacing the distribution ability of point guard Nick Calathes, who averaged a team-high seven assists per game before heading off to play for the Greek national team, ending his TBT participation following Regional Weekend. Team Hines has added four players - including point guards Ricky Hickman and Darius Adams - to spell Calathes.  

 

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